Monday, 2 May 2011

Whatever you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it.

In Budapest, Franz # 56 (real name:  Marco) helped me to confront my fears and embrace my dreams and destiny.  This is a spiritual, philosophical post.  I would like to share my conversation with Marco for all the dreamers out there.

After a boat ride down the Danube, Marco and I headed to a pub.  

Over a beer, Marco read my palms.  And he noted that my lifeline begins partway down my palm (as opposed to starting at the base of my fingers, like some peoples' lifelines do).  "What I'm reading," said Marco, "is that your life begins at 30."  

Talk about weird.

The priest in Varanasi, India told me something similar:  "Your luck will change for the better at 28."

In fact, come to think of it, I've always told myself the same thing.  I've had an intuition, for a long time now, that my 30's were going to blow my 20's to pieces, that my life was going to improve decade by decade, that I was going to get better and more sophisticated with fine wine.

I told Marco that maybe the reason my lifeline begins at 30 is because it's taken me that long to figure out what my destiny is.  It's taken me that long to start following my dreams.

Then I told Marco that one of the hardest things for me as a dreamer is to put forth an effort, to ˝fight the good fight,˝ to attempt to make my name known in the world when I see how small and insignificant I really am.

I've never felt this way as keenly as I have on the trip.  When you catch a glimpse of how big the world is, how many people live in it and how diverse they all are, it is easy to comprehend how inconsequential you are, as one individual.

And then Marco said something I'll never forget, something so beautiful, though I've already forgotten exactly the words he used to say it.  

In essence, he said, "But you must try, you must work every day to achieve your dreams, despite it all, despite how small and inconsequential you may feel.  Because when you find your destiny and pursue your dreams you will began to 'vibrate' in tune with the universe.  You will tap into the creative energy of the universe.  And, at that moment, you're part of the whole, you're interconnected with every other being on the planet.  And when you realize your interconnectedness with six billion other people, you understand that you are no longer 'small and insignificant' and never will be again."

And then Marco looked at me and said, "You have potential."  

Potential.  It's something other people tell me from time to time, but something I so rarely tell myself.

And I realized, then, that I have no more excuses.  It's time to put 100% effort toward achieving my destiny and pursuing my dreams.

Yesterday, when reading a novel by Shauna Singh Baldwin, something in me knew that I was capable of writing a novel of that magnitude.  Somewhere within me I have the potential to produce sentences like Baldwin's, to craft stories like her's.  I'm not trying to sound egotistical.  I simply believe that we are all capable of much more than we give ourselves credit for.

Getting to that point as a writer will entail years of work, frustrations and failures.  It will entail more life experiences.  It will mean stretching myself far beyond whatever I thought possible as an artist.  But I can say this now, before all of my friends and family:  I've committed myself to the writing path.

And in making this committment in Budapest, I am aware that my writing needs to be about more than myself.  It needs to be about politics, it needs to be about poverty, it needs to be about inconvenient truths.  Because finding a destiny and pursuing a dream is, ultimately, a service to others.  

I need, I must, I am called upon to be an activist through my writing.  It is my life work.

What does your life work entail?

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